It Probably Isn’t Going To “Just Happen”

When it comes to dating, and I think especially “Christian dating”, one of the big mistakes too many people make is having the idea that it just happens.  In fact I think most people want it to be this way.  They want it to just happen.

This comes from several places.  First there is this idea that God has only one person for you and He will magically bring them to you.  This is how we get all of the spiritual platitudes like, “God will do it in his timing”, “when it’s right you’ll know”, “God just hasn’t brought you the one yet”, “He is preparing someone for you”, and on and on and on. What’s funny about these platitudes is that while we hate them when someone says them to us, we also hide behind them when we don’t act.

I’ve addressed this particular point about a zillion times in this blog.  But for the record, there is not THE ONE, there is no spiritual soulmate, He is not holding out on you.

But the second and maybe more powerful place this comes from is a culture that says everything should happen organically.  Whatever that means.  Basically what it seems to mean is that you shouldn’t have to actually do anything.  You are entitled to whatever you want and you shouldn’t have to actually try to go do it.

This is a super convient concept when stuff doesn’t go our way.  Or when we sin.

My girlfriend is pregnant becomes everything happens for a reason.  Yeah it does, because you had sex when you shouldn’t have.  I don’t know how to ask someone out can conveniently become, God will bring me someone.  I’m overweight (don’t have a job, don’t have direction, don’t know how to interact with people, etc.) but people should just like me for me.  The right person will just organically be attracted to me.  (But of course I won’t be extending that same courtesy to them).

Maybe in the past when the average age of marriage was about 10 years younger than it is today that sort of thing would make some sense.  I think there is some reality to college aged folks and “organically meeting”.  But for most of us this just is not a good plan to get married.

The first question needs to be, do you actually want to get married.  I believe that most of us are called to do so.  Marriage, while not the end all and not the solution to life, was instituted by God in the very beginning.  Some people will not get married.  Some are not called to it.  But for those of us who don’t think we are called to celibacy we need to attempt to move beyond it, not just sit around and hope for it.  Especially as a man.

We need to act.  And action, typically means being intentional.  Being intentional typically means having a plan.  None of this means that the plan will work.

I’ve used this example before but let’s say you need a job.  Do you sit around and just hope that it “organically” happens?  Ok I know some people do, but those people typically remain unemployed.  If you want a job, you go out and hit the pavement (or the internet or whatever).  You use the resources available to you to find a job. You might have work on some skills.  Maybe a new skill for a new job – that might require going back to school or practicing interviewing.  You learn, practice, and attempt, over and over again.

If a kid wants to get better at a sport for example, do they sit around and hope that they just learn to shoot a basketball?  No you learn how to shoot it.  You listen to your coach. You go out in the driveway and shoot the ball over and over.  Does this mean you’ll be Jordan?  No.  But will you be better than the average person who hasn’t shot a basketball?  Yes.

Look, I’m not saying it’s simple.  What I am saying is that having a plan and learning how to be better is good.  Humbling maybe, but good.  It’s called growth.  It requires effort.  And usually it requires failure because you don’t know when or if it will work.

The question should be, how do I put myself in the best position to succeed.  I have to get in the game.  I need to have a plan of attack.  I might need to practice.  I might need to study or acquire new skills.

You need a plan of how to meet people, how to approach people and what to do on a date.  And that’s just for starters.

Gentlemen let me assure you of this.  Girls like a guy who has a plan.  They can say they don’t but they do.  That doesn’t change when you get married by the way.  If they want to think “it just happened” that’s fine, but we all know it didn’t.

Do you want to get married?  What are you doing today that makes tomorrow any more likely that you will get married? If you aren’t dating anyone, what is your plan to change that?  If you are dating someone, what is your plan to advance that relationship?  What are your intentions?  What are doing to make your intentions reality?  What are you getting better at?



10 thoughts on “It Probably Isn’t Going To “Just Happen”

  1. I feel like one of the girl platitudes, is inter beauty but disregard that you must a unkiss virgin a great cook with no debt and of course white. But rather telling the true they say God has a man you. For me I am really childless unkeep looking and act like a man. I want kiss and all that. But I don’t believe God want me to marry..

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  3. I often hear that my man will come when the timing is right and I often rest in that. I do believe God is sovereign over my dating life but at times I struggle with this kind of advice to be proactive. I feel like I AM doing my part. I was involved in a large singles ministry for nearly 7 years and dated one person seriously. Unfortunately it did not work out for us. I’ve since left the church for a smaller church that I enjoy much more and where the singles are younger than me. I’ve not met any eligible men yet but that’s not to say they are not there. I’ve also tried several dating sites only to be disappointed. I’m typically attracted to men of other races, specifically black men, and I do meet some on a occasion but I do not often meet them in Christian environments. I also take care of myself and make sure I look presentable. I socialize often in different groups. I’ve been setup on a few dates. I’ve tried to be open for the most part but yet nothing happens. What sort of advice do you have for women? I feel like the message I keep hearing is to wait and be patient.

    • Hey Heather

      Thanks for the comment. It’s tough. For both men and women because there is a line. There is the stuff you control and way more stuff we don’t. So here’s a couple of thoughts. Probably as a guy there is actually a little more you can control – at least initially.

      First, it sounds like you are doing things. You can do stuff and still have it not work. I’d encourage you to fight to stay open, even when you get discouraged. I think the online thing really can be helpful, it just takes time and can be frustrating. I think two of the keys for women are, how do you make yourself available to the right kind of guys, (while not wasting time with the wrong kind of guys), and then not be afraid to initiate in small ways. I think guys should ask out the woman, but I think it’s ok for the woman to put herself in a spot to be asked out. Women can start the conversation. The key is to come off available without coming off desperate. But I don’t think you have to just wait around. Not sure that’s helpful at all.

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